I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
I love the idea of a superhero YA book, except with the exception of a few of them, they usually don’t work. Unfortunately, Powerless falls in this trend.
I really don’t know why it’s that difficult to pull off a superhero type book. Because there’s so many directions you can go. From over the top campy, to dark and gritty, you can essentially do anything with superheroes. Unfortunately, Powerless did nothing with its world. Really, nothing. Oh, maybe something happened in the second half of the book-I DNF’d it-but I seriously doubted it. This book was just so dull of so many levels.
Which was really sad.
I would’ve thought the world building would’ve been stronger. I really did. While Tera Lynn Child’s Forgive My Fins series wasn’t perfect, there was actually some world building there. Same thing goes with Tracy Deebs, Tempest Rising, wasn’t bad world building wise.
Oh, wait there was Doomed But even with that catastrophe, I would think the two could pull it together to create a sensical world, but there wasn’t really anything all to this world to this world other than heroes, villains, and let’s try to do Sky High but not do Sky High because that wouldn’t be cool.
Okay, I think you get a general idea of what a hot mess the world was. But what about the characters…
Well, I know nothing about them other than the fact that Kenna is an idiot. Oh, wait…I do know something about them because if you take the jacket off of the book you get this….
Yes, your very own character chart (sorry that my phone couldn’t display the entire picture. But if you’re going to know anything about these characters you better look at this chart. You also might get a little confused if you don’t look at either because these characters have names like Khardashians (they all start with the same damn letter based on family, to the point of stupidity. I mean really, Draven. I have no words).
Other than that though, the characters are pretty much archetypes and nothing else. There’s the main character Kenna who is just dim beyond belief. Who’s main deal is that she is powerless in a world full of super heroes-um, so was Batman but he still kicked Superman’s butt in like every episode of the JLU ever made just saying. Then there’s Draven who I think is suppose to be the love interest because were given a paragraph about his stupid blue eyes and about how Keena is not suppose to be attracted to him. And there’s there’s Jeremy who is suppose to be Kenna’s ex who is basically like the Jeff Goldblum in the book (aka strangely attractive ridiculously tall nerd). Then there’s the punky best friend and a lot of other characters I could care less for.
The best thing I can say about this one is that shit did happen. It was sort of chaotic at best, but things still happened. So there was that…
And yet, somehow throughout the chaos I was able to pretty much predict everything that was going to happen. The plot was like that AU episode of The Justice League with the Justice Lords (if you haven’t you should watch that episodes it’s better than this book) mixed with Sky High. It just didn’t work.
I didn’t even care enough about Kenna to learn the truth about her pseudo Bruce Wayne background because girl was so useless she’s obviously no Batman. She’s not even Ironman when he’s drunk and telling everyone he can use the bathroom in his suit. She’s that useless with useless Bella Swan non-superpowers.
Overall, Powerless was a huge disappointment for me. It had an interesting enough premises, but it was poorly executed. To have a properly done superhero book you need a well formed world. It can be extremely cheesy or extremely gritty, but there needs to be some sort of world that our characters are fighting for and there wasn’t here. The characters need to be more fleshed out than a brief description on the back of a book jacket too. And above all, there names don’t need to be Khardashian inspired.
Overall Rating: A DNF more on the failing side of this, since I had more problems with the books construction than it being a subjective DNF. But hey, at least the internet didn’t go out and everyone was acting like the world was ending like in Doomed.